Samuel Rohrer releases Codes Of Nature on 2LP & DL on Arjuna Music on the 10th February 2023.
Samuel Rohrer’s newest solo album, Codes of Nature, shows the artist making yet more refinements and additions to an already rich catalog of musical ideas. Though he has excelled in collaborative projects with Nan Goldin, Ricardo Villalobos, Tobias Freund, Dark Star Safari, Nils Petter Molvaer, Max Loderbauer, Oren Ambarchi and many others, it is fascinating to experience him also working in a field completely his own, yet managing to still give the impression of being fully integrated or connected with a larger musical universe. A strange, intriguing ambiguity between the specific and the universal is indeed what makes Rohrer’s music worth playing on a loop – the cool, downtempo, yet energized constructions on Codes are powered by subtle atmospheric and tonal changes, and work like a camouflage adaptable to any environment.
This is evident on immersive tracks like “Body of Lies” and “The Banality of Evil”: tightly and economically controlled from a compositional standpoint, while still leaving enough ambiguous space for listeners to determine where it all leads, these pieces run on a mix of synthetic mallet percussion sounds, sharp snare fills and pulsing, angular melodies. With the density and regularity of events that might occur at a major traffic interchange, yet with the un-hurried, anxiety-free mood of a low-lit lounge, these are both cinematic displays of Rohrer’s rhythmic music as a method of travel and transition.
The pieces “Resurrection” and “Fourth Density” utilize this approach but with an increased emphasis on slow attacks, ethereal fade-ins / fade-outs and languid caresses from time-reversed melodies or deep bass grooves hanging around on the periphery of awareness. The result of immersing in this whirlpool of sound is an optimistic, uplifting, but not overbearing feeling, one which carries over effortlessly into the more mysterious and seductive “Scapegoat Principle.” This can be possibly described as a sort of steady down-river voyage with alien voices appearing and then fading from the dense variegated foliage along the shore. Rohrer’s percussive and bass patterns here are stacked and interlaced with a devious effectiveness, giving off a humid feeling easy to contrast with the type of aridity common to certain strains of dub techno.
“Talking to Nature Spirits” provides an excellent dénouement: ten minutes’ worth of seamlessly bonded melodies, rhythms and timbral contrasts that intriguingly condense Samuel Rohrer’s technical developments to date, and at the same time propose a new direction with greater emphasis placed on overlapping electronic grooves and evenly spaced sounds. Starting from a sequenced pattern that subtly replicates itself and ultimately permeates the whole listening space, it is like the soundtrack to observing a millennia worth of evolutionary processes sped up in real time. The hypothetical creature under observation sprouts new musical appendages with great regularity; each with its own emotional and tonal character.
As mentioned at the beginning here, this is a record whose strength derives from its versatility. It’s clear that this versatility of sounds has been inspired by a commitment to positive differentiation that is not just a musical one, and that’s where this work will inspire others in turn.
credit : Camille Blake
SAMUEL ROHRER – Codes Of Nature
release: 10th February 2023
label : Arjuna
2LP / DL, cat no. AMEL-LP724
A1 Resurrection 5’23”
A2 Body Of Lies 7’38”
B1 Scapegoat Principle 8’10
B2 Fourth Density 8’07
C The Banality of Evil 10’29”
D Talking To Nature Spirits 9’59”
Music produced, recorded and mixed by Samuel Rohrer
Additional mix by Ingo Krauss, Candybomber Studio Berlin Mastering and vinyl cut by Mike Grinser, Manmade Mastering Berlin